This cheap laptop has a retro keyboard that will split opinions

(Image credit: Tbao)

Cenava may not be the most familiar brand name for many, but this Chinese vendor is trying mightily hard to differentiate itself from the army of smaller identikit laptop vendors.

One of its latest products is the Ceneva N145 laptop, which looks to stand out from the crowd with one unique selling point.

The keys on its keyboard have rounded edges that give it a rather peculiar look. The marketing department at TBao calls it "retro punk", claiming that it has a "realistic knocking and light rebound, so that it has a retro charm in both appearance and trial feel". 

Cenava N145 - $400 at Gearbest

Cenava N145 - $400 at Gearbest

At last - a vendor that saw sense in combining a decent CPU with plenty of storage, fast solid state drive and a surprising keyboard. The N145 has a keyboard that feels retro, almost steampunk, which is a major selling point.

Available at just $399.99 at the time of writing, the Cenava N145 is not that expensive for what it offers in terms of components; there's an Intel Core i7-6600U paired with a dedicated Geforce 940M GPU with 2GB video memory, a full HD display, a full metal body, a backlit keyboard and a fingerprint reader.

The laptop comes with a 128GB M2.SSD by default. An additional $10 gets you a 256GB one and $40 quadruples the storage capacity to 512GB.

This makes it as competitive with the Inspiron 14 5000 (5481) from Dell, which also has 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD with Windows 10 and a 14-inch HD display.

The keyboard of the N145 remains its main attraction and we can’t wait to see other rivals come up with similar designs although, truth be told, it is very unlikely that any of them will replicate the touch and feel of a true mechanical keyboard.

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.